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A Windows 10 Alternative: Ubuntu-Based Zorin OS Linux Distro (betanews.com) 191

"With a click of a button, you can change the desktop layout to match that of Windows versions and Gnome 3. The Ultimate edition...also features Ubuntu, Gnome 2 and macOS-like layouts." BrianFagioli shares an article about a Linux-based operating system "designed for Windows-switchers." While the company does charge for an "Ultimate" version, the "Core" edition of Zorin OS 12 is entirely free... "As Zorin OS 12 is based on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, it will be supported with security updates until April 2021. This makes Zorin OS 12 the ideal choice for large deployments in businesses, governments, schools and organisations", says The Zorin OS Team"... Zorin OS features some really great features, such as Google Drive integration with the file browser.
Although unlike Windows 10, its default browser is Chromium.
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A Windows 10 Alternative: Ubuntu-Based Zorin OS Linux Distro

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  • by iggymanz ( 596061 ) on Sunday November 20, 2016 @01:45PM (#53327249)

    Making a desktop look like Windows 10 is hardly the requirement for a replacement. Can it run Windows software, or replacements for them in a way no other linux distro could? I think we know the answer, hell no.

    • Most people won't even know if they're running Windows programs.

      Give me a Linux desktop that visually matches Windows 2000, XP and 7 and I'll have happy 'customers'.

      Make some icon changes and they won't even know it's not Excel and IE.

      • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Sunday November 20, 2016 @07:44PM (#53328745)

        No I don't think you will have happy customers. In fact making Linux look exactly like any other operating system like Windows or Mac is a recipe for disaster. I think of it as the uncanny valley of desktops. At first users may be comforted seeing something familiar. But as they use it, subtle differences will lead to a jarring experience. And sooner or later, as the GP said, users will try to install some cool program they found that won't work when they download it.

        In my experience moving people from Windows to Linux, having a look and feel that closely resembles Windows is not at all important. It's not helpful at all. Most Linux desktops function similarly enough to Windows to be nearly immediately usable to most users. Having a look and feel that's different from Windows reinforces the idea that they aren't using Windows anymore, but something different, though it works on the same principles. I have never changed program icons to "Excel" or "Word" as that also would be harmful when they encounter differences (as soon as they open the application... LibreOffice looks and acts very differently from current versions of Office). Instead I make shortcuts entitled "Word Processor" or "Spreadsheet." Often I just leave them as they were.

        Really none of this theming nonsense is necessary and it's not helpful to Linux adoption. In fact it may actually be harmful in the long run. Linux desktops have to stand on their own or we're doomed to failure.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Linux desktops have to stand on their own or we're doomed to failure.

          I tend to agree, even though I wouldn't have a few years back. I always thought visual similarity was important for people attempting to transition from Windows -> Linux, but in the end, UI is more than just about the visual, it's also about the interactivity, what people expect to see and whatnot. If you're going to invest time into using Linux, trying to make it look as much like Windows as possible might turn out to be counter-produc

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Google beat them to it on this one. They made web their common platform. Looks pretty much the same on any OS, any browser. Chrome runs everywhere. Google Docs for office tasks, or even Microsoft Office online or Zoho Office or any number of others.

          For non-geeks the OS is becoming increasingly irrelevant. A glorified launcher and file manager, mostly replaceable by the browser and cloud storage. It's actually great for consumers, in theory. No updating apps, files automatically backed up and available every

      • Make some icon changes and they won't even know it's not Excel and IE.

        In the same way people can't even tell it's not butter?

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 )

      Making a desktop look like Windows 10 is hardly the requirement for a replacement. Can it run Windows software, or replacements for them in a way no other linux distro could? I think we know the answer, hell no.

      Besides, it won't screw up your computer like genuine Windows does on updates.

      • Making a desktop look like Windows 10 is hardly the requirement for a replacement. Can it run Windows software, or replacements for them in a way no other linux distro could? I think we know the answer, hell no.

        Besides, it won't screw up your computer like genuine Windows does on updates.

        Pfft.... ever try to do a dist upgrade on an Ubuntu box? I give it.... 60% chance of working flawlessly. 20% chance of working OK. 20% chance of making you say.... fuck it! I'm restoring from backup....

        • Pfft.... ever try to do a dist upgrade on an Ubuntu box? I give it.... 60% chance of working flawlessly. 20% chance of working OK. 20% chance of making you say.... fuck it! I'm restoring from backup....

          I've done 2 Linux Mints, 2 Ubuntu Mates, and a Lubuntu total upgrade so far this month, and all have worked perfectly. As did the number I did earlier this year. By your calculations I'm in for a long spell of failure.

          I was a little concerned about the Lubuntu Upgrade since it was on a netbook that hadn't been used for a while. But it was flawless. In any event, a better track record than Windows 10 so far.

          I dunno where you guys get your facts and figures anyhow.

        • been doing that do hundreds of debian based OS including Ubuntu for over a decade just fine. you must suck. buy windows, it's for you.

          • been doing that do hundreds of debian based OS including Ubuntu for over a decade just fine. you must suck. buy windows, it's for you.

            I'm going to try to post something without it getting marked troll or flamebait.

            I am almost certain that the reason that some people seem to have so much trouble with Linux is they are trying to impose a Windows workflow, or maybe had some 15 year old experience they are relating.

            I have had few little problems with installs and updates of the modern distros that it approaches perfect. As long as I have a internet connection, the install process just goes out and finds what is needed, and I mostly just

    • Not only that, nobody gets fired for buying Microsoft...more likely when buying into Zorin. As iggymanz already pointed out, if it doesn't run a wide variety of Windows software reliably well then it surely is not the "ideal choice for large deployments in businesses, governments, schools and organisations". Unless maybe it comes with a client that supports all features of Exchange. Linux in general lacks an office package that comes with a decent email client that has a calendaring feature built in. Thunde
    • It's not a replacement without it advertising its store or rebooting to upgrade randomly while giving a presentation.

  • 'member Lindows? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, 2016 @01:46PM (#53327263)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSdRTOh2jeA

  • by paulatz ( 744216 ) on Sunday November 20, 2016 @01:49PM (#53327283)

    Seriously, those of us who can install an operating system are hardly scared by "moving to a desktop environment like GNOME or Unity can be confusing and scary (from TFA)." Those of us who are scared by such a monstrous change in paradigm will never be able to install an OS, or understand that an OS is not part of the laptop, for what matters.

    Either these guys manage to get their stuff preinstalled on some decent PCs, and I wish them the best luck possible, or I hardly see some hacker giving them 15 bucks for the privilege of a macosx-inspired theme, 20 crappy games and video wallpapers (I may give them some money to NOT have video wallpapers).

  • Member? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by freeze128 ( 544774 )
    Remember: Zorin is the name of the bad guy in the James Bond movie "A View to a Kill", played by Christopher Walken.
    • Remember: Zorin is the name of the bad guy in the James Bond movie "A View to a Kill", played by Christopher Walken.

      And if you read through the fine print on the Zorin OS website, you'll eventually find this little nugget:

      "A portion of the proceeds from your purchase of Zorin OS may be used to purchase materials needed to set off massive explosions along the length of the San Andreas fault."

      Nice try - but no thank you, Mr. Zorin.

  • Nope... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Sorry, but just making the UI "similar" is not enough to make it an "alternative" any different than the likes of Mint.
    It would need to actually be able to run every Windows based applications and games, without issues, for it to be an "alternative".
    This is just Linux with a different coat of paint on top, nothing new.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 )

      Sorry, but just making the UI "similar" is not enough to make it an "alternative" any different than the likes of Mint. It would need to actually be able to run every Windows based applications and games, without issues, for it to be an "alternative".

      No. If you have to have an OS that runs every single Windows program, well then poor lad - you are stuck with Windows.

      As an alternative, it only has to do what the user wants it to do. You can do email - unless for some reason you have to have a Windows specific only email program. You can do web Browsing, unless you absolutely have to have Exploder or Edge. You can do Office Suites, unless you have to use the outlier non-compatible with itself Windows Office suites. In that case, you have my sympathy

      W

      • by Nethead ( 1563 )

        And don't even get started on if it has to be part of an enterprise Active Directory domain.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by ChrisMaple ( 607946 )
        Not even Windows runs every single Windows program.
        • Not even Windows runs every single Windows program.

          After one Windows 10 update, My Windows computer wouldn't run anything at all, including Windows 10.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So, let me see if I got this straight.

    Someone sat down and started thinking "How can I convince people to switch to Linux from Windows? What does Windows have that people want, but can't find on Linux?", and their brilliant conclusion was that what people REALLY wanted was that awful, ugly and schizophrenic "I'm not quite a mobile device but I'm also not also entirely a desktop" user interface?

    AND they want to charge people for this?

    This is why Linux will never make it on the desktop... people are totally c

    • This is why Linux will never make it on the desktop... people are totally clueless.

      Clueless? That's how Windows made it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 20, 2016 @02:15PM (#53327413)

    "Pros: It's not Windows 10
    Cons: It's trying to look like Windows 10"

    • yeah, they are sort of shooting themselves in the foot from the perspective of the linux community, but since their target audience is windows users and windows users switching OSes is probably sort of rare, i am sure seasoned Linux users already have their favorite flavors of Linux and it is just a few noobs that are unsure of what they decided to like in the Linux dept. are the ones doing the distro hop, so the only people switching would be a few non-professional windows users disgruntled with windows an
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      "Pros: It's not Windows 10
      Cons: It's trying to look like Windows 10"

      I've never understood the marketing philosophy that pretty much says let's try chasing the customers who really like our competitor's product by making a cheap knock-off just like it. Unless you're trying to make some kind of counterfeit for people who like to pretend they have a Rolex or Louis Vuitton bag, but who wants to pretend to have Windows 10? I'd be looking for the customers looking for a fork in the road, I have version $n-1 but don't really like change in version $n so what alternative can you of

      • It especially makes no sense with Windows 10. After all with previous versions it cost $100 minimum for a copy but now you can get Windows 10 insider for free so this OS actually costs more than the cheapest version of Windows....I really don't see who the target audience is for this. If a user likes Windows 10 they aren't gonna suddenly want to pay $15 for a Linux look alike and if they like Windows 10 but don't have the money for a copy they can just take the free Insider version, and Linux users certainl

  • lol, one of the major reasons I want to use Linux is because it ISN'T Windows 10. The UI is far worse than Windows 7, for desktop PCs.

    • I haven't experienced windows 10, but 8 is worse than 7 and 7 is worse than XP, so I'm not exactly full of joyous anticipation.

      Maybe there's a 3rd-party addon that'll make it almost as good as ME?

      • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday November 20, 2016 @04:47PM (#53328077)

        I'm a Mac user, but - in my opinion, Windows 7 was actually the pinnacle* of Windows' operating systems. It's what I've used in any home VMs I've set up for stuff requiring Windows, such as my wife's sewing software.

        8 and 10 seem like several steps backward; although 10 is progressing and likely will eventually get to where it's indistinguishable from 7.

        * For sufficiently low definitions of "pinnacle".

      • It's actually Windows Vista that is worse than Windows XP. Windows 7 was their recovery from that. Then Windows 8 screwed everything up again.

        Maybe there's a 3rd-party addon that'll make it almost as good as ME?

        Oh, I see now why you're confused about Windows 7... You think Windows ME was 'good'....

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Are we reading the same title/summary?

      A Windows 10 Alternative [...] you can change the desktop layout to match that of Windows versions

      For me this means "If you don't like Windows 10, then install Zorin OS and you can change the desktop layout to match the Windows version you like."

    • Hmm,I hardly notice a difference. The start menu has more junk under it, but you can remove that...
    • lol, one of the major reasons I want to use Linux is because it ISN'T Windows 10. The UI is far worse than Windows 7, for desktop PCs.

      What exactly is it you do with your computer that the difference in UI has that much of an effect? The start menu is very similar to 7 and frankly if you just hit the start button and type the program you want, or use the taskbar or desktop to launch programs then it's no different at all. And once you're actually using your programs is it any different at all?

  • by pablo_max ( 626328 ) on Sunday November 20, 2016 @02:20PM (#53327443)

    Can I play Battlefield on it? Can I play Civ 6? I guess not.
    I would love to switch to Linux. The fact of the matter, nearly every program which I want to run, does not work natively on Linux.
    Office? Nope. Photoshop? Nope.
    Please, do not tell me to use WINE. Sure, it may be possible to get it going, but it is shit. Complete and total shit.
    Wine is like buying a 911 4S then insisting the buyer replace the tire with a 13 inch wheels from a 1979 Datsun B210. Sure, it will technically work, but what the fuck did you buy that car for?

    • by fisted ( 2295862 )

      Yawn.

    • by short ( 66530 )
      You have LibreOffice and Gimp. Both are perfect replacements for 99% of users. But I agree for example the games are not there yet.
      • Re:Gaming (Score:5, Interesting)

        by NotInHere ( 3654617 ) on Sunday November 20, 2016 @03:37PM (#53327783)

        There are whole websites dedicated to games that run on linux: https://www.gamingonlinux.com/ [gamingonlinux.com]

        In the last 1-2 years there has been increased progress in porting over games to linux, and in driver development for GPUs.

        Its very good to have corporate backers like red hat or valve to work on mesa and similar projects. The future of linux gaming is certainly looking great.

        Already now you can play a very wide range of proprietary and free (as in freedom) games on linux, and its getting more every day.

        If you want the last bit of performance, or if your favourite game doesn't have a linux port nor works with wine, then you obviously should use Windows, but if you can make minor compromises on that front, linux for you.

        • by short ( 66530 )
          People want to run what their friends do run. If their friends run game XYZ but they cannot they are a poor. They do not want to be poor. They can pay (they even do not have to) for MS-Windows to be as good as their friends. It does not matter they can run games ABC and DEF which is superior to XYZ.
          • by jezwel ( 2451108 )

            It does not matter they can run games ABC and DEF which is superior to XYZ.

            So you're saying that Linux has superior games to Windows, but people run Windows to play the games their friends are playing?
            Are you sure?

      • Blender works the same on either OS.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Sure libreoffice is a replacement for ms office, provided you never ever have to interact with ms office users ising docx. I wish to god it worked but it doesn't, it's pretty compatible but not enough and in a work environment people do not want to wait while you piss about fixing the formatting. Writer is also buggy as hell and has bizarre ui choices. I've tried it many times, since at least the very first release after the fork hoping each time I could drop my windows vm, but not yet.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You have LibreOffice and Gimp. Both are perfect replacements for 99% of users.

        If they really were perfect replacements for 99% of users then those users would at least be saving the hundreds of dollars in license fees and already running them on Windows.

      • Not until they add an outline mode like MS Word's. This is a feature that has been requested since at least 2003, and nothing happens.

      • by iONiUM ( 530420 )

        Show me one professional graphic designer who actually makes quality work and can use Gimp and .. I don't even know what the illustrator alternative is on Linux. Inkscape? It's awful.

        They use macOS and Windows for a reason. The real tools are Adobe's (at this time), and no professional takes Gimp seriously. The fact that you suggest it just re-iterates what the problem with Linux zealots are.

        • by short ( 66530 )
          Please read my comment again. I said "99% of users". Not 100%. And in no way "professional graphic designer"s. Do you read anywhere in my comment word "professional"? Do you read there anywhere word "designer"? No? Great. Do you have anything else on your mind?
          • by iONiUM ( 530420 )

            Yea, I take issue that you seem to suggest that 99% of those requiring photoshop / illustrators are not professionals. In fact, I'd argue that the MAJORITY of those who require these tools ARE graphic artists. It's only the few hobby-ists with a DSLR that can get away using Gimp and Light studio or whatever.

            The fact that you truly believe that "99%" of those requiring these tools don't need it is the very core of my issue: you're just making shit up in your mind to wrap reality to how you see it, to make Li

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 )

      Can I play Battlefield on it? Can I play Civ 6? I guess not. I would love to switch to Linux. The fact of the matter, nearly every program which I want to run, does not work natively on Linux. Office? Nope. Photoshop? Nope.

      You brag about your closed ecosystem, while I think "poor guy is stuck running Windows."

      • by Mitreya ( 579078 )

        You brag about your closed ecosystem, while I think "poor guy is stuck running Windows."

        He is not "bragging" about the ecosystem. He is listing things that he needs for Linux to be considered a "replacement"

        If you keep laughing at people who cannot move to Linux for reason X, Linux will remain at the current adoption levels.

        • He is not "bragging" about the ecosystem. He is listing things that he needs for Linux to be considered a "replacement"

          And yet, we presumably are not tallking about a "replacement" but an alternative. That's kinda what the entire subject is about. There are alternatives. One is Windows, one is OS X, and one is Linux.

          Regardless, since he is completely and totally stuck in a Windows only ecosystem, that will never ever be anything but a Windows ecosystem, his choice is perfectly clear - he has no choice whatsoever, and that is the end of the discussion for him. Windows only, no alternative, no replacement, nothing but Win

    • Can I play Battlefield on it? Can I play Civ 6? I guess not.

      I was thinking more of if the OS can run call center software, supports the time clock system we use, has drivers for our 2D barcode scanner, things like that. You can play games, I got work to do.

      Actually, I don't have work to do. I just finished playing a game on a Windows XP computer I keep around to run some old games I like. It also runs PuTTY and has a serial port, which is nice for talking to Cisco gear.

      I happen to run games on Windows because I happened to need Windows at one time and I picked up

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Ubuntu's failure to make a decent UI has opened the door to distros like Mint and ZorinOS to fill in the gap. Too bad for their ivory tower attitude on this topic, Ubuntu is otherwise very good.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    lets see... replace one big spyware with another big spyware

    just another clone of Canonical that thinks its an OS

    no thanks, fuck off

  • Why is this an OS? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    When I started with Linux we had maybe five serious distros, and I don't think we have that many more nowadays, maybe ten. If you're going to make you own window manager or desktop then that's great, I applaud that. But this is an entire distro in itself. Are you really going to keep up with security patches on the same level as the Ubuntu or Debian security teams? Because that's what you need to do today if you're making an OS that you want to be taken seriously. Otherwise it's better to just make a packag

    • Maybe it's difficult to charge for the bits and pieces they've just added to Ubuntu.

      But I agree, do we really need yet-another-linux-based OS? Is there really any value to the user by using any of the dozens of different distros specifically?

      Are you really going to keep up with security patches on the same level as the Ubuntu or Debian security teams?

      This is actually just Ubuntu with some tweaks and changes so most updates will come for free by virtue of the codebase being almost entirely Ubuntu anyway.

  • That's for yet another Linux distro [altervista.org].
  • But it seems that all of that silliness has followed me. First Unity and Gnome 3, and now a conscious and deliberate effort to emulate Windows. I wonder if Zorin will eventually have those oh-so-helpful telemetry 'features' too.

  • ... for the simple reason the desktop isn't cluttered (unless I want it cluttered), it's easy to add / remove app launchers, the desktop look and feel are easy to configure. It looks a lot like Windows 7, which worked for me no problem. I'm not a big "make your desktop like your personality" guy. I just like getting work done, and I want my desktop to do what it's supposed to do: gimmie GUI, with a minimal amount of fuss. I've been using Mint for the last 3 years and it's my favorite distro.
  • Windows is basically a games platform that also runs legacy software like Microsoft Office. The main thing I have it around for is running games (e.g. via steam), music software (e.g. VSTs), or a few Windows only things. I wish Apple would make machines with the build quality of professional laptops and workstations, like e.g. Lenovo Thinkpads and HP Z-series workstations, rather than shiny toy that one needs an oxyacetylene blowtorch to get into, and for which the standard remedy for any fault is to bin th

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why in gods name would you WANT the Windows 10 UI in ANY year?
    That whole interface is a fucking disaster.

    I almost put my fist though a screen having to suffer fixing that shit OS via its horrific interface. Most infuriating piece of shit I've ever used in 20 years.
    Then you have the updates that completely shit on drivers for the trackpad, and it was one of those really awful trackpads with no physical buttons (THANKS Asus), so the buttons now DETECT movement, making it damn near impossible to click precise

  • Nobody would think this was a Windows replacement, especially people that have ever used Windows before.
  • The awful UI of Windows 10 with the lack of WIndows compatibility of Ubuntu.

    (Seriously, I think the main reason people choose to run Windows 10 these days is for the games and some legacy apps.)

  • ... when all you need is a decent VT220 emulator?
  • So I saw this article and thought, "Oh neat! This looks like it could be useful, especially if they did a good job of polishing the UI." and I figured I'd check the comments to see what people thought of it, etc.

    Aaaaaand as usual, all we have is one flame war after another with people making ad hominem attacks and how people hate Windows or Linux or whatever. (I'm excluding the vast array of racist remarks for my own sanity) But then again, I really shouldn't be surprised at this point.

    Has anyone ACTUAL

  • Sadly no torrent links to download this thing. Anyone have one? Their download link http://bitly.com/12core641 [bitly.com] redirects to Sourceforge of all terrible places.

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